Motor Industry News
MyCarCheck.com/Trade Motorcycle Market Overview Oct 2013:
Great time to buy used but franchise dealers’ cash tied up in new
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MyCarCheck.com/Trade is the trade valuations arm of CDL Vehicle Information Services. Based on cutting-edge industry data and feedback from independent and franchised dealers, these monthly bulletins highlight the most significant trends in the UK motorbike and scooter market.
MyCarCheck.com/Trade’s motorcycle expert, Rob Hobson, commented: “It’s that funny time of the year for the two wheel market as the weather begins to change and demand begins to slow. Final new bike sales figures for September were not available at the time of writing, although early reports suggest they will not have done much to replace the sales lost earlier in the year. The new market is now likely to record a decline based on year-on-year sales.
“The market remains difficult to predict though, due to the highly changeable weather conditions. In days of old, it was the norm to ‘put your bike away for winter’ – this involved removing the battery and preparing the bike to stand for several months. Often this happened at the end of September, as the season was perceived to be over. Today, it is altogether more complex. A couple of weeks ago central heating boilers were fired up for the first time in months as temperatures dipped sharply and darker nights started to close in. A sure sign the biking season was over? No. The following weekend brought another spell of sunshine, which saw bikes back on the road. As good as this summer has been, it has to be remembered that we had one of the harshest winters earlier this year – it was still snowing in April!
“These days there are opportunities to get out and use your bike throughout the year. Christmas Day is just as likely to be dry and sunny as a late afternoon in October. However, due to traditional seasonal trends, used values have dipped noticeably in recent weeks. Dealers report that they have bought some bikes at bargain prices, often from owners desperate to liquidate their asset at whatever price they could get quickly. On the whole though, it does seem that more people are hanging onto the bike they’ve got for a little longer. This will help to keep demand against supply fairly keen, keep used values stable and ultimately maintain transaction prices.
“The big deciding factor for the trade over the next few months is going to be that all-important cash flow situation. While there are exceptions, the large-scale ‘high volume low margin’ franchise dealer option is becoming ever more difficult to justify. The cost of funding a manufacturers’ full model line-up based on achievable stock turn is becoming totally unviable. Even the big name players will openly admit that used bikes are the real profit centres of their business. Now, as the end of year approaches and 2014 model updates are unveiled, the situation becomes increasingly difficult. Manufacturers have targets to meet and are all chasing market share. Meanwhile, dealers are faced with unsold new bikes taking up valuable funds which could be put to better use buying used stock during this optimum period.
“Overall, we have eased used values down again this month. It is obviously a great time for anyone looking to buy. Trade buying decisions are based on current stock holdings, model mix and cash flow. From the consumer perspective, the greatest benefit comes if they are just buying, rather than upgrading or part exchanging.”
MyCarCheck.com/Trade provides buyers and sellers with all the vehicle price data they need: ready to retail, trade, average, retail and Cat D. As a free bonus, it also provides the annual road tax cost and key DVLA information, including the make, model, colour, engine size, body style, fuel type and date of registration.
Simply enter a car, van or motorcycle registration and the vehicle’s mileage to get an accurate valuation and additional information in an instant. Once signed up you can check as many vehicles as you like at no extra cost.
The MyCarCheck.com/Trade team includes:
Gavin Amos has 15 years’ experience in the used vehicle sector. After starting out at CAP he worked in several dealerships, progressing into management. He has hands-on experience of sourcing and disposing of stock, both to trade and retail customers.
Alan Senior has 35 years’ experience in used car valuations. After a decade running a franchised dealership he spent 20 years at CAP where he was Senior Editor of the Black and Red books and co-founder of the Green book, then two years as editor of Parkers Guide before co-founding VIP Data valuation services.
David Hill specialises in LCVs. He worked with Renault, LDV and Isuzu Trucks before spending 10 years as CAP’s Light Commercial Vehicle Editor then 5 years as national used vehicle sales manager for Iveco. He joined CDL in 2011.
Rob Hobson specialises in motorbikes and scooters. After leaving a dealer role to launch CAP’s Green Book, he worked in business development for Piaggio.